Author Topic: Cracking in window header - NHBC not interested?  (Read 8157 times)

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Cracking in window header - NHBC not interested?
« on: April 28, 2015, 08:34:17 pm »
I have a Persimmon home which is just over two years old. The other week I noticed a vertical crack running through the stone window header above the Juliet balcony doors, so I attempted a claim under the NHBC Buildmark Warranty and was promptly fobbed off. (see below)

Thank you for your online enquiry of 27 April 2015 about a crack to the stone sill above the Juliet
balcony doors.
The Buildmark policy cover for the above property began on 30 November 2012, so I have considered
your claim under section 3 of the policy. This is the cover that we provide in years three to ten for
physical damage that was caused by a defect in a part of the home listed in the policy document. I
have enclosed guidance notes that explain the cover and our obligations under section 3.
Stone sills are not a part of the home listed in section 3, so unfortunately are not covered under the
policy. These sills are quite liable to general settlement and hairline cracks, and the damage appears to
be only to the stone sill which is not a structural element to the property, the lintel is located behind this
and based on the information given, does not appear to be affected.
I am sorry that I can't help you on this occasion. However, if you have any additional information that
might change my decision, please let me know straight away

I am now wondering what my next course of action (if any) would be? Can I take this further?

They also said in the email that I should monitor the crack and let them know if any further damage or water ingress occurs.

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Re: Cracking in window header - NHBC not interested?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2015, 08:36:54 am »
The NHBC are unfortunately correct as this looks like an aesthetic defect rather than  structural although it is clear from their reply, they don't know the difference between a "sill" and a "lintel!"

From your photo, it looks like the manufactured stonework head is bedded on a steel lintel which is what provides the structural support. Quite why the decorative stone head has cracked so badly is a mystery. In all likelihood it was already damaged when fitted and the crack has just opened up in the weather. These stone features are on a long delivery and it is "easier" for the site to just some stone powder into the crack so buyers don't notice it until it is too late!

The NHBC should at least inspect and investigate and make sure this is not the first sign of something more serious like subsidence.

As for what to do now you can only write to Persimmon CEO Jeff Fairburn and tell him you are not happy with this.
I very much doubt Persimmon will do anything though as it is over the two years.
Your best option would be to write to the manufacturer, and ask for someone to carry out an epoxy resin repair which I am afraid, you will have to pay for.

With home ownership comes maintenance obligation, even with a new home.
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.

Tim Fee Snagging Inspector


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Re: Cracking in window header - NHBC not interested?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 02:29:11 pm »
OK thanks - I will have a go at Persimmon - failing that, they will hopefully be able to advise on a repair - I've emailed the NHBC to ask them to at least come and have a look also.